One hour north of Sydney, the Hawkesbury river system is a modern explorer’s delight. The region is dotted with National Heritage buildings, extremely old pubs, ancient ferry crossings, fabulous restaurants and lots of smooth, calm water running through a large national park on both banks.
The best way to spend a week exploring the Hawkesbury is by becoming captain of your own houseboat. The modern versions can sleep up to ten people and have everything you could possible need for a week on the water. They form a platform for swimming, sunbaking, fishing, BBQs with the best scenery going, and transport up and down the river.
Did you know?
The Hawkesbury River and the Nepean River are one and the same thing. In 1788 two expeditions explored the Hawkesbury to the northwest and the Nepean to the southwest. It took about three years to realise they’d discovered the same river and given it two different names. The name change occurs at Penrith.
How to get there
Qantas and Virgin Blue have regular flights to Sydney from most major cities in Australia.
The Hawkesbury River is a 1-hour drive north of Sydney along the Pacific Highway (to Brooklyn).
Best time to go
Hawkesbury River visitor information
** This is our original 100 Things to Do Before You Die. First published in 1996. There is an updated 100 Things To Do In Australia Before you die, published in 2011.